Photography: Guide to Research: Basic Resources

Here are a selection of basic photography and picture resources (indexes, encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, etc.) held at Avery Library.

Finding Articles

(Periodical indexes offer you citation access to articles in periodicals. Some of these citations link to full text, while others do not, and will require you to find the paper journal to see the article itself.)
NOTE: While there are no indexes available exclusively for photography, the following general art indexes include articles on photography.
*Icon Art & Architecture Source. (EBSCO:Online vendor: 1937 to date)
Description: Provides indexing and abstracts for academic journals, magazines and trade publications with full text for some, as well as selective coverage for a number of other publications.

IconARTBibliographies Modern (ABM). (Proquest: Online vendor: 1974 to date)
Description: Index to literature on 19th and 20th century art. (Identified online as CSA Illumina: Artbibliographies Modern)
*IconInternational Bibliography of Art (IBA). (Proquest: Online vendor)
Description: Database of citations to articles and books in western art beginning in 2008 to present.  IBA covers European art from late antiquity to the present, American art from the colonial era to the present, and global art since 1945.
NOTE: The two below are big consolidated multi-index all-discipline databases, which include art indexes, technical science indexes and many others.
 IconEbscoHost Research Database (Online: can be used as Ebsco-only Federated Search Engine: Find by typing "EBSCOHost in CLIO.)
When you get into this database, over 80 indexes that EBSCO offers are available to search simultaneously.  Confusingly, the first of all of the databases (Abstracts in Social Gerontology) appears as if that is all you are searching, but you are in fact, searching all of their indexes. If you get too many results from your search, you might want to select your indexes. Click on “Choose Databases.” An alphabetically arranged list of indexes appears. Deselect them all, and then choose those that would make sense for your topic.
IconProquest.(Online: can be used as a Proquest-only Federated Search Engine: Find by typing "Proquest" in CLIO.)
When you get into this database, over 80 of the indexes Proquest offers are available to search simultaneously.  If you get too many results from your search, you might want to select your indexes.  Click on “# Databases” that is to the right of the word “searching"  at the top left of the screen. An alphabetically arranged list of indexes appears. Unselect them all, and then choose those that would make sense for your topic.
NOTE: Here are two older printed periodical indexes exclusively devoted to photography:

International photography index. (1979-1981) (Boston : G.K. Hall) Avery NH2 In4
An index to articles on photography, 1977. (Rochester, NY : Visual Studies Workshop) Avery Offsite NH60 Ain2

Guides to Researching Pictures

Care and Identification of Nineteenth-Century Photographic Prints / James M. Reilly. 116 p. (1986). (Rochester, N.Y. : Eastman Kodak Co.)  Avery NH445 R27 & RareBook Ref. REF NH470 .R44 

Picture research: a practical guide / John Schultz, Barbara Schultz. 326 p. (1991) (N.Y. : Van Nostrand Reinhold) Avery NH20 Sch82

Picture researcher's handbook : an international guide to picture sources and how to use them / Hilary Evans. 616 p. (2001) (London : Pira International) Avery N50 Ev1511.

The printed picture / Richard Benson. 338 p. (2008) (New York : Museum of Modern Art)  Avery Fine Arts NH60 B44.

Scenes in a Library: Reading the Photograph in the Book, 1843-1875 / Carol Armstrong. 511 p. (1998).  (Cambridge, Mass : MIT Pr.)  Avery NH72 Ar56 and online via CLIO.  

Dictionaries of Photographic Terms

The photographer's dictionary: an A to Z of technical terms explained / N. K. Guy. 368 p. (2008) (Crans-Près-Céligny ; Hove : RotoVision) Avery Reference TR9 .G89 2008g

Encyclopedias and Biographical Dictionaries

Encyclopedia of nineteenth-century photography / John Hannavy. 2 vol.  (2008) (N.Y. : Taylor & Francis)
Avery Reference NH15 En18

 Encyclopedia of twentieth-century photography / Lynne Warren. 3 vols. (2005) (N.Y. : Routledge)
Avery Reference NH15 En19

Encyclopédie internationale des photographes = Photographers encyclopaedia international: index / Michèle Auer and Michel Auer. n.p (1992) (Paris : Camera obscura) Avery NH30 Au343

The Focal encyclopedia of photography : digital imaging, theory and applications, history, and science / Michael R. Peres. 846 p. + 1 CD-ROM (2007) (Boston : Elsevier/Focal Pr.) Avery Reference TR9 .F6 2007g

IconThe Oxford companion to the photograph [Subscription based electronic resource AND print edition] / Robin Lenman. 769 p. (2005) (N.Y. : Oxford University Pr.) Avery NH15 Ox23

Photographers encyclopaedia international / Michel Auer, Michèle Auer. 1 CD-ROM, 1997. (Neuchâtel : Ides et Calendes) Avery CD-ROM NH30 Au341

Photographers' identities catalog (PIC) / David Lowe, New York Public Library.
An experimental interface to a collection of biographical data describing photographers, studios, manufacturers, and others involved in the production of photographic images. Consisting of names, nationalities, dates, locations and more, PIC is a vast and growing resource for the historian, student, genealogist, or any lover of photography's history. The information has been culled from trusted biographical dictionaries, catalogs and databases, and from extensive original research by NYPL Photography Collection staff.

Catalogs of Collections & Directories

NOTE: This is a sample of titles which can be found at Columbia University Libraries

To find others search in CLIO by the subject terms: 
“photograph collections” directories
“photograph collections” catalogs

A guide to print, photograph, architecture & ephemera collections the New-York Historical Society/ Helena Zinkham.  175 p. (1988) (N.Y. : The New York Historical Society)  Avery Fine Arts N1000 N4N42 Z67.

International photography: George Eastman House index to photographers, collections, and exhibitions / Andrew H. Eskind, Greg Drakd, Kirsti Ringger, Lynne Rumney. 3 vol. 1998. (Rochester, NY : International Museum of Photography; N.Y. : G.K. Hall. Avery Reference NH21 In2311     

Photographs : George Eastman House, Rochester, NY / William S Johnson, Mark Rice, Carla Williams under the auspices of George Eastman House. 766 p. (1999). Avery NH420 G29   

PhotoSpeak : a guide to the ideas, movements, and techniques of photography, 1839 to the present / Gilles Mora.  215 p. (1998) (N.Y. : Abbeville Pr.) Avery NH15 M79

USA photography guide 3 / Bill Jay, Pat Evans. 158 p. (1999) (Tucson, AZ : Nazraeli Pr.)
Avery Reference NH21 Us13 

Guides to Collecting

Collector's guide to early photographs / O. Henry Mace. 214 p. (1990) (Radnor, PA : Wallace-Homestead Book Co.) Avery NH72 M15

The collector's guide to new art photography. Vol. 2 / Amani Olu, Jon Feinstein. 216p. (2010) (N.Y. : Humble Arts Foundation) Avery-LC TR655 .c67 2010g

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